Coles To Build Two Ambient Automated Logistics Centres With WITRON
Major Australian food retailer Coles has selected WITRON to deliver two new ambient distribution centres as part of a supply chain modernisation programme that will improve availability for customers while lowering costs.
Coles and WITRON have now executed definitive contracts for WITRON to develop two new automated ambient distribution centres in the states of Queensland and New South Wales.
Why Coles Decided In Favour Of WITRON
In seeking a partner for the project, Coles considered WITRON’s track record of delivering 54 similar projects with global retailers including E. Leclerc, Kroger, Target (US), SuperValu, Sobeys, Edeka, Mercadona, Migros, Meijer, Inex and Coop Norway.
Coles operates more than 2,500 retail outlets across Australia, including supermarkets, liquor stores, and fuel and convenience stores.
Every week, more than 21 million customers shop in store or online at Coles, generating sales of more than 39 billion Australian dollars (€24.5 billion, approximately) over the 12 months to the end of June 2018.
The two distribution centres will respectively supply a full range of ambient grocery lines to more than 240 Coles supermarkets in New South Wales and more than 170 supermarkets in Queensland.
From each of the two approximately 70,000-square-metre logistics locations, all stores will also get the supply of a full range of dry goods.
“The modernisation of our supply chain will provide a safer working environment for our team members, lower supply chain costs, enhance our overall business competitiveness, and make life easier for our customers by having the right offer in the right location,” said Coles' CEO, Steven Cain.
Intensive Project Discussions
WITRON’s CEO, Helmut Prieschenk, said that the company was very pleased to be working with Coles on WITRON’s first Australian project.
“We spent a lot of time working with Coles to make sure that the project was exactly what was needed, going right back to the most basic data before looking at logistics modules and technology, service and operator concepts, end-to-end supply chain intelligence, and, finally, to ways that the centres could make use of existing and future technology,” Prieschenk added.
WITRON: New Subsidiary In Australia
In what WITRON owner and company founder Walter Winkler proudly describes as “a milestone in the almost 50-year history of the company”, WITRON has already registered an Australian subsidiary company, WITRON Australia Pty Ltd, which will be based in Sydney, to manage the project.
“We have successfully completed facilities like this in markets across Europe and North America,” said Winkler.
“Our experience has taught us that customer proximity is crucial for a successful realisation. We need to be close to our customer, the project, the market, the people, and to the culture,” he added.
“We believe that, by the end of 2023, when the projects are finished, these two new Coles distribution centres will be the most modern logistics infrastructure assets in Australia,” he furthered.
Priority Of Innovation And Growth
Winkler said that WITRON has always prioritised innovation and growth.
He explained, “After sustained success in Europe, WITRON established its own subsidiary in the United States back in 1995, conquering the North American market. This courage has developed into a success story.
"Today, we already employ more than 1,000 staff members there, and almost all leading food retailers are among our customers,” he added.
Integrating Proven Standard Solutions
This will see WITRON integrate its proven WITRON standard solutions OPM (Order-Picking Machinery), CPS (Car-Picking System) and ALP (Automated Layer Picker), as well as a fully automated shipping buffer and a module of the All-in-One Order Fulfilment System (AIO), which was especially developed for food retailers and omnichannel DCs.
Furthermore, WITRON, as a general contractor, will be responsible for the implementation of all IT, control and mechanical components, including steel construction, stacker cranes and conveyor systems – all developed by the company’s in-house logistics experts.
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